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Fighting to Survive 



Dayo Wong (center), Sonja Kwok and friends

Year: 2002
Director: Dayo Wong Chi-Wah, Abe Kwong Man-Wai
Cast: Dayo Wong Chi-Wah, Sonja Kwok Sin-Nei, Chan Tse-Hin, Kenji, Eddie Cheng, Jupiter Wong, Yuen King-Tan, Hui Siu-Hung, Tats Lau Yi-Tat, Law Lan, Yuen Wai-Ho, Chan Kwok-Kwan, Lee Lik-Chee, Yoyo Chen, Miao Felin, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Lee Chi-Kit, Matt Chow Hoi-Kwong, Ann Hui On-Wah
The Skinny: Further proof that comic auteur Dayo Wong Chi-Wah is not a possible alternative for Stephen Chow Sing-Chi.
Review
by Kozo:
     Comedian Dayo Wong Chi-Wah assaults us with his latest endeavor, a comedy which he wrote and co-directed. He plays Bon Bon, a resident of Tuen Mun, who's always attempting to implement his latest pyramid scheme. When his latest ideas "Super Shoe" and "Name and Sex" fail to catch on, he finds himself without the means to continue.
     Things change wen Bon Bon meets daffy local girl Snooker (former Miss HK Sonja Kwok), who's so named because there are three massive moles on her face which resemble billiard balls. He saves her from a potential rapist and decides to implement his latest scheme, "One Dollar Bodyguard." It's like this: he'll protect women on their evening strolls for one HK dollar. Business picks up, so he hires three assistants in addition to Snooker. Then they catch the rapist, so business dries up. To combat this, Bon Bon decides to branch out and solve all manner of problems - starting with those of his assistants.
     Up until this point (about thirty minutes in) the film seems to have some potential. The jokes, while not gut-busters, are mildly funny and the situations show promise. Then IT ALL GOES TO HELL, though not in front of the camera. It actually goes to hell behind the camera, as the film suddenly grinds to a complete halt and becomes painful comedy of the most headache-inducing kind. Directors Dayo Wong and Abe Kwong slow things down considerably as they attend to the assistants' bizarre situations, each of which seems to stretch on for hours. That they're uninteresting and unfunny situations makes everything worse.
     Bon Bon eventually questions his new profession as it means personal (and physical) headaches for him. He also has to attend to his own problem, which is his inability to ride in a moving vehicle, this stranding him in Tuen Mun for life. And there's the romantic issue with Snooker to resolve.
     Yep, everything sounds incredibly strange, but the weird thing is all of this could have worked had they actually handled things properly. However, the interminable pacing and questionable decision-making turn the whole thing into an incredibly boring - and even annoying - experience. By the time Fighting to Survive picks up, it's more likely you'll be asleep than entertained.
     Dayo Wong should probably get the majority of the blame here. After all, he did write, direct and star in the picture. It's frustrating to see that he can't turn out better work when given full control, as he's shown that he can be a funny guy in the past. However, that's usually been in supporting roles, where his annoying antics can actually add to a picture. When he's called upon to carry a film (and he appears in nearly every frame of this movie), he becomes annoying, then alienating. When it all comes down to it, the only reason we may have to care about Bon Bon is that he's played by Dayo Wong. And unfortunately, that may not be enough reason for some. (Kozo 2002)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Universe Laser
Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Universe Laser & Video Co., Ltd.

   
 
 
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